Artbeat

Capsule reviews of current area art exhibitions.

The late Victor Vasarely, acknowledged leader of the op-art movement, felt that any observer should be able to "get" his art, filled with precise shapes and oscillating colors leaping from the plane, regardless of educational background or experience. "Art for all" was the Hungarian-born French artist's motto. But as with his piece Meta VY 48 G, sometimes you can't stop thinking to yourself that it looks like a couple of soccer balls trimmed in gold. Vasarely wanted the observer to see not soccer balls but shapes and forms with precisely rendered lines and complementary colors that vibrate in the brain, causing the octagons to advance and recede into space. For those unfamiliar with op art: Think M.C. Escher, the scion of T-shirts and dorm posters printed with a dizzying array of fish and escalators disappearing into the chest of the wearer. Vasarely believed that everything in the world has an underlying geometry, which is what he sees and re-creates. It's not supposed to look like anything, though Vasarely's understanding of what colors do when placed side by side is astounding. The fascinating collection of Vasarely serigraphs on display at the Art School, "Optical Perceptions: Serigraphs by Victor Vasarely," is mostly in color, and most of the works are entitled Untitled, presumably to prevent reading too much into a name. Two works resemble sunrises -- the horizon line is straight despite the curved shapes that make up the terrain in the foreground. The purples and reds vibrate -- warm colors tend to advance into space. The sharpest and biggest shapes recede into flattened-out shapes, allowing the eye to swim toward the illusion of a bright light in the center. In the end, you have to stop looking for the soccer ball. It's merely form and dimension and color, so just enjoy it. (Through December 17 at the Art School, 801 W. Palmetto Park Rd., Boca Raton, 561-392-2503.) -- Megan Kenny

NOW ON DISPLAY

"The Inspired Moustache: An Exhibition of Diverse Expressions of Salvador Dal through Books and Memorabilia from the Collection of Rik Pavlescak"-- This quirky excursion through Dalwood, now at the Broward County Main Library, features 116 items drawn from the "much larger and comprehensive collection" of Pavlescak, who lives in West Palm Beach and works as a private human services consultant and as grants and education manager for the Comprehensive AIDS Program of Palm Beach County. Bienes Center librarian James A. Findlay, who helped coordinate the show, sums it up this way: "As is so often the case, it begins with a casual acquisition, leads to more detailed investigation and research, and ends with a compulsion to acquire as much material as possible..." For those who have always dismissed Dal as a shameless huckster/artistic whore, this orgy of Dalana will only confirm their worst suspicions and then some. For those of us who have always seen Dal for who and what he was and adore him in spite of or even because of it, this weird little show is great fun. (Through January 15 at the Bienes Center for the Literary Arts, Sixth Floor, Broward County Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-357-8692.)

"The Four Seasons" -- An exhibition-sized, site-specific installation at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood by Guerra de la Paz, the collaborative name of two Miami-based Cuban artists, Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz. Working out of their studio in Little Haiti, they create what they call "clothing sculpture" by using leftovers from neighborhood rag shops that export used clothing to underdeveloped countries. For this show, they fill the museum with about two dozen pieces, most of them linked to a specific season. What first feels refreshingly silly about the exhibition ends up seeming contrived, gimmicky, and a little too self-satisfied, although specific pieces have their undeniable charms. (Through December 5 at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood, 954-921-3274.)

 
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